Saketh Myneni. The strapping six-foot-four-inch player from Andhra Pradesh spent hardly any time in the men's final — just 57 minutes — before becoming the new champion, sweeping aside the challenge of the previous year's winner and state-mate A. S. Suresh Krishna in straight sets.Saketh's win re-established the growing influence of the American inter-collegiate tennis circuit on Indian tennis.
Saketh, a national junior champion in 2005, had quietly honed his skills playing the highly competitive U. S. inter-collegiate circuit for six years while completing a double Major in finance and economics in Alabama. Now a senior National champion at the age of 24, Saketh says his best efforts were breaking into the top-10 in singles and top-15 in doubles in the U. S. intercollegiate rankings. Doing well in that circuit, which has players coming from all over the world, is more about “attitude” feels Saketh. “You have to focus both in studies and in tennis to do well. There are a lot of Indians who are getting seriously into this,” Saketh said. He confirmed that the trend became popular with the success of his senior Somdev Devvarman.
Though playing his first tournament on grass, Saketh was at ease on the surface. Success came his way almost immediately after he returned to the country in September last year when he won the ITF Futures in Chennai. The Hyderabad-based player said the time he spent in America was now paying off and he hoped to do well right through the season.
“I would like to get into the Davis Cup team and wish some more good results would come my way in the season,” Saketh said visibly inspired by the commanding form he showed in picking up the national crown. Saketh, who earned the top billing in the tournament as he is ranked No. 11 in the country, was in imperious form and did not drop a set.
Saketh Myneni... maiden title.
With his performance getting better with every round, Saketh found his best touch in the final against Suresh Krishna. The latter had to really struggle to get the better of his unseeded opponents in the quarter- and the pre-quarterfinals. The difference was apparent in the title clash as Saketh served with flourish and returned with panache to blow away his opponent in no time.